Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

By Jen Groover
Creator, Butler Bags

When the Butler Bag Company was only a few months old, a buyer for QVC wanted to place a large purchase order for it--a dream come true for most!! But my gut felt that it was the wrong

move. I agonized over the decision because I knew neither I nor my brand were ready for that type of magnitude.

I knew I really needed to focus on building the infrastructure of the company first as well as build the demand for the brand. I sadly declined the chance fearful I would never have that opportunity again. The good news is that now the opportunity has come full circle and I am a more established brand! The opportunities surrounding it are even greater!

The lessons that I learned from this experience were profound and I am presented with these types of challenges on a daily basis--a great problem to have, right? Well, yes, if you understand how to handle them; otherwise it could be brand disaster.

In growing a company/brand you need to constantly be aware of your long term goals and vision for the company.

As the company grows this might call for regular reassessment but knowing and defining your goals helps set the boundaries for big decisions. Obviously, striking a deal with a major player like QVC right out of the gate was tempting I knew it could dilute my brand before my brand even got started. It could have failed miserably because it was a "fashion product" without any branding--therefore brand equity or demand. I could have financially got in over my head as well as operationally, not even knowing or understanding all the rules for delivery. Looking back, the lesson I learned most from this is to not jump on short-term gratification if it jeopardizes your long-term strategy and growth of your company.

Five steps to use whenfacing a big decision:

1) Identify my your long term goals

2) Evaluate (write down) pro and cons of this decision and how it affects your long-term goal

3) Ask other trusted people their opinions--you may get to see different perspectives you couldn't see on your own

4) Do activities that allow you time to think away from distractions i.e: a walk in the park, yoga class, relaxing on the beach by yourself

5) Listen to your gut - think back to your initial reaction when the decision was posed, how did you feel. Every successful person I have ever met have all agreed that this is the greatest indicator.

- Jen